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Tag:USC
Posted on: April 17, 2009 2:42 pm
 

Lions Negotiating With 3 Players for #1 Pick

 

According to two independent sources, I've learned that the Detroit Lions are actively negotiating with the representatives for quarterback Matthew Stafford, Baylor offensive tackle Jason Smith and outside linebacker Aaron Curry for the right to be the first player selected in the 2009 NFL draft.

It had been suggested by some that Matt Stafford was essentially already signed, but today's news proves that this is clearly not the case.

Stafford, however, remains the favorite to be the final selection, though there is increasing speculation that the Lions, like many other teams at the top of this year's draft, are beginning to favor the safer prospects of the draft, rather than riskier boom or bust propositions like quarterbacks Stafford, USC's Mark Sanchez, and Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree. 

 

 

 

 

Posted on: April 6, 2009 6:27 pm
 

Matt Hasselbeck's mini-camp key to Top 10?

 

 The Seattle Seahawks own the 4th pick of the draft and are thought to be considering using the pick on the eventual successor to Matt Hasselbeck. Some have theorized that if the Detroit Lions were to select someone other than Georgia's Matt Stafford with the top pick that the Seahawks would end his "fall." Others believe the Seahawks may take USC's Mark Sanchez at #4 regardless of what the Lions do.

Through savvy decisions in free agency and trade, Seattle general manager Tim Ruskell has put the team in position to take the best available player with the fourth pick of the draft. The team entered the off-season with clear needs at receiver, offensive tackle, and defensive tackle but filled those with the signing of TJ Houshmandzadeh, re-signing of Ray Willis and trade for Cory Redding. They could look to fill their greatest remaining need at outside linebacker with Aaron Curry, if he was available, or look to the future with OTs Jason Smith or Eugene Monroe, receiver Michael Crabtree, or one of the quarterbacks.

Ruskell will be able to make a much more informed decision after this week's mini-camp.

The 33-year old Hasselbeck is expected to participate in the mini-camp, after missing 9 games last season with a bulging disk in his back.

Though there won't be anything even remotely resembling the physicality of a regular season game in this week's mini-camp, how Hasselbeck performs could be a critical component in the Seahawks' decision on draft day.

Sanchez is one of the real wildcards of the 2009 draft, with his projected team ranging from Seattle at #4, Jacksonville at #8 or San Francisco (#10) all the way into the deep teens with the Jets (#17) and Bucs (#19).

Posted on: April 1, 2009 5:14 pm
Edited on: April 2, 2009 3:23 am
 

USC Pro Day, Maualuga Report

Inside linebacker Rey Maualuga needed desperately to work out well today because he ran a 4.88 40 while aggravating a hamstring injury at the Combine.

He did just that, running a 4.65 40-yard dash for scouts' hand-held times. And he ran his time with a quarter-size blister on his right foot, which he displayed after looking a bit tentative during linebacker drills. Maualuga, to his credit, did not make a big deal of the blister. He stepped to the side to speak to his agents as the linebacker drills were ending and I happened to be standing near them. I peeked over their shoulders as he took off his bright green shoe and pulled down his sock. There, under his big toe and on the primary pad of his right foot was a significant blister. The skin had been worn down and nearly rubbed off and looked quite painful. As he did this, fellow linebackers Brian Cushing and Clay Matthews, Jr. finished the workout and most scouts' attention turned to quarterback Mark Sanchez, who was warming up.

Scouts were a bit surprised, frankly, when Maualuga returned later to run the 40. They seemed to appreciate the fact that he did not shut it down at that point, and that he also looked strong in the shuttle drills earlier in the day. His 4.25 and 4.27 short shuttle times were comparable to the best linebacker times in Indy.

Maualuga looked fairly fluid in drills before dropping a couple of faux interceptions, although he did rebound a bit at the end of that exercise. 

Teammate Clay Matthews looked fabulous in his drops and made multiple fantastic catches.

The team's fourth linebacker prospect, Kaluka Maiava, joined CB Cary Harris on the sideline with a pulled hamstring.

 

 

Posted on: April 1, 2009 4:58 pm
 

USC Pro Day, Sanchez Report

Mark Sanchez was his typical charismatic self and threw the ball well in his scripted workout today - better than he did at the Combine in February. Of his 50 throws, five fell incomplete but only two or three were inaccurate. He looked very smooth in his delivery, flattening his ball flight on out routes and showing more than adequate velocity.

Detroit Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan asked Sanchez to make some additional throws after the scripted portion of the workout was over. He threw some receiver screens, so Linehan could watch the flight of the ball up close, as well as a few roll-outs. Linehan talked with Carroll about five yards behind Sanchez as he threw.

The Trojan quarterback then launched a half-dozen deep balls, the first few were overthrown a bit but he eventually hit WR Patrick Turner on the sideline and former teammate TE Dominique Byrd down the hash. After he finished throwing, Sanchez spent time with the Lions' representatives.

Former USC and NFL quarterback Rob Johnson, who has been working with Sanchez this off-season, was also on hand for the workout.

Posted on: April 1, 2009 3:52 pm
Edited on: April 2, 2009 3:17 am
 

Southern Cal Pro Day, part two

Although linebacker Brian Cushing and his teammate, Clay Matthews, tested very similarly at the Combine, their 40 times were significantly different today according to initial reports. Scouts timed Cushing between 4.7 and 4.75, as much as two-tenths of a second higher than Matthews ran.

QB Mark Sanchez is now getting ready to throw as the NFL scouts huddle up to go over their 40 times to reach a consensus on each player.

CB Cary Harris is not working out today because of a pulled hamstring, and is very disappointed. He really wanted to improve his 40 time from the 4.67 he posted in Indianapolis.

 

Posted on: April 1, 2009 3:29 pm
Edited on: April 1, 2009 3:32 pm
 

Southern Cal Pro Day Begins

It's an absolute circus here at the USC campus, as hundreds of NFL executives, scouts, ex-Trojan players and others close to the program flood the field to get a close-up look at the school's top talent. General Managers in attendance include Billy Devaney (St. Louis) and Ted Thompson (Green Bay). Head Coaches Sean Payton (New Orleans), Jim Schwartz (Detroit), Brad Childress (Minnesota), Mike Singletary (San Francisco) are also among the hoards.

Among the early returns on 40-yard dash times was linebacker Clay Matthews' impressive 4.55 (hand held), which was not a surprise given the athleticism he displayed at the Combine in February.

Defensive end Kyle Moore posted a 4.7 (electronic), which is more than acceptable given his 6'5", 270-pound frame.

Patrick Turner's 4.58 40 (electronic) was exactly what scouts needed to see in order to keep him as a mid-round value.

Potential first round pick Rey Maualuga delayed his workout a bit this morning, but the reason why is unclear. He's on the field now, however, and he looks to be healthy. 

 

 
 
 
 
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